Wednesday, May 24, 2006

Benzene: News Regarding Additional Defendants

Coca-Cola and Cadbury Schweppes are set to be sued in Florida regarding allegations that several of drinks created by each may have contained benzene, fiften years after they pledged to fix the problem.

The Florida lawsuit clainms that independent lab tests found Fanta Orange Pineapple contaminated with benzene at 4.7 times the five parts per billion limit for benzene in USA's drinking water.

The Florida lawsuit says that the companies should have known about the potential for benzene to form in drinks containing benzoates and Vitamin C.

Benzene exposure has serious health effects. Breathing very high levels of benzene can result in death, while high levels can cause drowsiness, dizziness, rapid heart rate, headaches, tremors, confusion, and unconsciousness. Eating or drinking foods containing high levels of benzene can cause vomiting, irritation of the stomach, dizziness, sleepiness, convulsions, rapid heart rate, and death.

The major effect of benzene from chronic (long-term) exposure is to the blood. Benzene damages the bone marrow and can cause a decrease in red blood cells, leading to anemia. It can also cause excessive bleeding and depress the immune system, increasing the chance of infection. {See Wikipedia, here}

Read more here.